Today we a staging a Våpenhuskonsert (a concert in the weapon room / foyer) at Finnsnes church, as part of our Easter Festival Week (Påskefestuka).
As with previous concerts, it is a blend of music and poetry.
Local teacher, Heidi Tove Olsen, has selected poems which she will read.
The musicians are Ernst Norbakken (a classical tenor), Odd Fredriksen (a talented singer, guitarist and song-writer), Sveinung Borvik (singer and guitarist who grew up in Finnsnes, now living in Trondheim), Benjamin Olsvik Nillsen (percussion), Sarah (voice, piano and harpsichord), and me (recorder, piano, harmonium).
We’ve still to decide the running order, but the music list is:
- Akk, mon min vei
- Jeg så han som barn
- Eit litt barn voks opp til mann
- Du som låg i natti seine
- Blott en dag
- Wilt thou forgive
- Jeg har en venn som har gitt sitt liv
- Kven er eg
- Har du fyr
- Johnny Cash – Hurt
- Coldplay – The Scientist
- Grieg Våren
- Telemann blokfløyte sonat i F dur
It’s been a pretty hectic week so far, but so far people seem pleased with our Easter festival, Påskefestuka.
Our Ungdomskor (youth choir) sang well for the Palm Sunday family service – most even made it to rehearsal on time despite loosing an hours sleep due to the clocks going forward.
After a somewhat fraught Sunday afternoon fighting a very lethargic laptop (maybe it was missing it’s hour?), Være i Stillheten went very well, with the highlight for many being Susanna playing Gabriel’s Oboe (the music, not the instrument).
Yesterday was a very long and mixed day, beginning with 2 hour long double funeral (almost 700 mourners, so a completely full church, including over 100 Hells Angels from most European countries, plus the US and Canada). We then had a couple of hours to completely rest the building ready for our Easter children’s event, Barnaspåskefest. A slightly depleted children’s choir did an excellent job of leading the music, and over 100 people joined in a ‘wandering’ with 5 ‘stations’ telling the events of Holy Week (pictures from last year are here). After coffee and cake we set to with changing the layout of the church yet again, for the Easter Labyrinth. We finished in record time due to some excellent help from friends, but even so it was a 15 hour day!
Today has been a bit more relaxed: opening the labyrinth, a short lunch service, planning a few other services and funerals, and a Salmekveld (a hymn singing evening – almost no preparation possible, but always a challenge with spontaneous suggestions from the congregation, with over 1000 possible choices – all in Norwegian or Swedish! We rounded off the day with some practice for the Våpenhuskonsert.
We now have Susanna safely back from Space Camp (a physics trip to the Norwegian Space Centre – yes they really do have one!), which was apparently good fun, as well as educational.
And now we are in our own final count down – to Påskefestuka, which begins on Sunday. This year has turned out to be a bigger undertaking than we had expected due to a flood of funerals, extra services, etc. Final preparations consist of video editing, musical arrangements, score printing, stocking up on HMREs (homemade meals ready to eat), last minute extra publicity, oh, and some rehearsing.
Sunday kicks off with Palm Sunday family services in Gibostad Kapell and Finnsnes Kirke with music led by our Ungdomskor (youth choir). Norwegians – don’t forget that clocks go forward on Sunday!
On Sunday evening we have Være i Stillhet at 7 pm in Finnsnes kirke.
Være i Stillheten is somewhere between worship and a concert – live classical music ‘accompanied’ by pictures, video and words. Because it’s Easter week, everything contributes to the passion narrative. Here is the provisional (!) program:
- Opp Guds folk (Wachet Auf) – J.S. Bach
- Euphonium Concertino (1. movt) – Rolf Wilhelm
- Orgel konsert i a mol, BWV 593 – A. Vivaldi / J.S. Bach
- Erbarme dich (Matteuspasjon, BWV 244) – J.S. Bach
- He was despised (Messiah) – G.F. Handel
- Via Dolorosa – Sandi Patti
- Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (Messiah) – G.F. Handel
- Behold, and see (Messiah) – G.F. Handel
- He was cut off out of the land of the living (Messiah) – G.F. Handel
- Din egen sonn (O du Guds Lam) – Twila Paris
- But Thou dids’t not leave His soul in hell (Messiah) – G.F. Handel
- Deg Være Ære (Thine be the glory) – congregational hymn
- Toccata (from Organ Symphony 5) – C.M Widor
- Blessing (Velsignelsen)
- Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone
- Coffee and cake (Kirke Kaffe i Menighetshal)
On Monday we follow up with Barnaspåskefest (our Easter festival for children). 5 scenes from the easter week are told interactively as the children (and adults) go on a tour around the building. Opening and closing music is led by our Barnakor (childrens choir) and the church band. Read more about last year’s here.
Today we almost experienced an almost complete solar eclipse. The only one Finnsnes is likely to experience in our lifetime.
Almost, because the path of the total eclipse just missed us (something to do with the spring equinox and the tilt of the earth). And almost, because it clouded over and snowed at the critical moment! However, looked at from another point of view, how many people come even close to experiencing an arctic eclipse? Not many . . .
The day dawned with bright sunshine, but quickly deteriorated. We were however blessed with glimpses through the clouds. The picture sequence runs from about 10am (just as the eclipse was beginning) to 11.20, about 15 minutes after the maximum. The colouration in some pictures is due to the lighting gels which were the only thing I could find to shield the camera at the points when the sun was unobscured by cloud or snow.
Easter (påske literally means passover) is looming large. As is traditional in Finnsnes, we have arranged Påskefestuka – a week long festival beginning on Palm Sunday and running through to Easter Sunday, with concerts, cultural events and worship services.
Here is the program. It’s in Norwegian, but we’ll be writing a bit more about the individual events in English as they come nearer.
It’s also possible to download the poster and a brochure in PDF format.
So, if you’re in the area, do join us for a exciting week!
At the weekend our parish leadership team were in Tromsø for another Agenda 1 meeting (Agenda 1 gives church leaders teaching plus time to listen to God and plan for the future with mission at the centre).
We had a great and productive time. We all traveled together by car. This was a view over Balsfjord:
Because we couldn’t find a vikar (substitute) organist I had to return for Sunday services. To maximise my time in Tromsø I took Huritgruten home. This is the coastal ferry / cruise ship which was great other than the travel times (leaves 1.30 am, arriving in Finssnes 4.30 am!). I’ve made the journey once before, during the midnight sun, but this time it was dark and the weather forecast was full storm! Thankfully the ship just sail serenely through it:
After colleagues had joked about the potential for falling asleep on board and then waking up in, for example, Bergen, I was also thankful to be awake for disembarkation. And so it was that I played in Finnsnes, albeit on sleep-deprived autopilot (pronounced or-toe-pee-lot in Norwegian).
And what was this?
Here is a video of eider ducks I recorded on my recent trip on the outer coast of Senja. I was attracted by the ducks swimming in a rotation circle formation which I’ve never seen before, and then diving together, and surfacing almost in perfect formation.
Apparently they like eating mussels (shelf fish) – see a short BBC wildlife clip of them underwater here.
And yes David (and others back in SC), it is also possible to hunt them!